Dangers of Speeding Trucks in Pensacola Florida
Large trucks are involved in hundreds of accidents every year in the sunshine state. To be sure, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s (DHSMV) Annual Report 2016 reveals that in a single year, medium to heavy trucks were involved in 25 fatal collisions, 133 incapacitating accidents, and 379 non-incapacitating crashes. What’s more, there were also a whopping 28,210 non-injury collisions involving trucks.
These accidents occurred as the result of numerous factors (the majority of which involved driver negligence). And those accidents that had the most profound consequences (i.e. incapacitating or fatal injuries) were often those in which vehicles were traveling at high speeds. The following considers the dangerous nature of speeding trucks, and what to do if you are involved in an accident
How Speed Impacts the Risk of a Collision
In addition to the data above, the DHSMV also reported that in at least 130 of the fatal accidents that occurred throughout the state in 2016, a driver involved in the crash exceeded the posted speed limit. While this statistic is harrowing, it makes sense; speed is a known risk factor as it relates to auto accidents. The greater the speed at which a vehicle is traveling, the greater the risk of an accident occurring.
The explanation for the correlation between speed and accident risk is simple: the faster a vehicle is traveling, the less time that a driver has to react when necessary. As explained by the European Commission, a driver needs time to process information, make a decision regarding a reaction to that information, and to actually execute a reaction. Because the distance that is covered in a given amount of time is much greater when a vehicle is traveling at a faster speed, there is less time to react. Further, the amount of time that a vehicle needs in order to brake and come to a complete stop is increased, creating a dangerous combination.
Trucks and Speed
Speeding is especially dangerous for large trucks. Large trucks weigh up to 20 times more than the average passenger car, and as a result, require much more time to stop than do smaller vehicles. The Utah Department of Transportation explains that the average passenger car traveling at 65 miles per hour would require 316 feet to come to a complete stop (about the length of a football field). A large truck weighing 80,000 pounds, on the other hand, would require 525 feet to stop when traveling at 65 miles per hour, and under ideal conditions. Of course, the faster a truck is traveling, the more time it will require to stop.
Speed and Accident Severity
Not only does the risk of an accident occurring increase when a large truck is speeding, but so do the chances that the accident will be severe. This is because more speed and more weight equal more force, and more force means more damages. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that an increase in average speed of one kilometer per hour (about .62 miles per hour) increases the risk of a crash involving injury by three to four percent, and a four to five percent increase of a crash involving fatality. For those who are involved in a car crash that occurs at a speed of 80 km/hr (roughly 50 mph), the risk of death is 20 times the risk of fatality when compared to a crash that occurs at 30 km/hr (roughly 20 mph).
Truck Drivers Have a Duty to Operate Vehicles at a Safe Speed
The risks of speeding trucks are clear: when truck drivers operate their vehicles at unsafe speeds, the risk of collision and severity of collision are both increased. As commercial carriers, truck drivers have a responsibility to operate their vehicles with a heightened duty of care; following the speed limit and slowing speeds when conditions require it are part of that duty.
If you have been involved in an accident with a speeding truck, our Pensacola truck accident attorneys at the law offices of Whibbs Stone Barnett, P.A., want to meet with you. Our attorneys can help you to bring forth a claim for damages, and will work hard to maximize your settlement. Call, contact us online, or visit us in person to schedule a consultation today.